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RoseGoesToYale

Schools have to reopen by fall

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Lonemathsytoothbrushthief
11 hours ago, RoseGoesToYale said:

Colleges need that money to keep facilities running and pay the faculty and staff

Chancellors' salaries would disagree. In the uk and us at least, universities are as bad as other large businesses in underpaying the most essential workers and overpaying incredibly clunky managerial staff(which most academics hate!). We could also fund all our facilities if journals gave us any money lmao. Oh and in general, universities never really had to charge students because many many countries have successful universities with no tuition fees, and public subsidies are only one way in which research etc is supported. Universities typically have many industrial partnerships, the research part of their work is being rejigged in many top universities to direct researchers' efforts towards the pandemic, and really they could perfectly well afford giving students a break given that most teaching staff would quite like to be able to focus on research. Of course there may need to be significant subsidies to teaching colleges, and staff without the ability to get a salary based on their research work(actually this would have a bigger impact on people like administrative staff, heads of department, managerial staff) might need changes to their contracts but I really doubt many universities as organisations struggle with money to that extent.

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Arodash
3 hours ago, Lonemathsytoothbrushthief said:

Chancellors' salaries would disagree. In the uk and us at least, universities are as bad as other large businesses in underpaying the most essential workers and overpaying incredibly clunky managerial staff(which most academics hate!). We could also fund all our facilities if journals gave us any money lmao. Oh and in general, universities never really had to charge students because many many countries have successful universities with no tuition fees, and public subsidies are only one way in which research etc is supported. Universities typically have many industrial partnerships, the research part of their work is being rejigged in many top universities to direct researchers' efforts towards the pandemic, and really they could perfectly well afford giving students a break given that most teaching staff would quite like to be able to focus on research. Of course there may need to be significant subsidies to teaching colleges, and staff without the ability to get a salary based on their research work(actually this would have a bigger impact on people like administrative staff, heads of department, managerial staff) might need changes to their contracts but I really doubt many universities as organisations struggle with money to that extent.

They dont normally but when we went from being shutdown for only 2 weeks to 2 months without any income the money needed to maintain the facilities dries up very quickly. More government subsidies would devalue the dollar and would also cost a lot in tax payer money and personally I dont like my tax money going into private industries

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daveb

According to a report from 2018 "The highest-paid public employee in most states is a college football or basketball coach".

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Arodash
9 minutes ago, daveb said:

According to a report from 2018 "The highest-paid public employee in most states is a college football or basketball coach".

Why am I not surprised kind of like how high schools and colleges put more emphasis on giving scholarships to athletes over academic that's fine you can do scholarships to athletes too but they blatantly ignore students who are academic. What makes it worse is sometimes it goes to athletic students who don't care about their academics if you ask me that is a big waste of a scholarship

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daveb

I guess some of those college sports bring in lots of money, too, but that just shows to me where the priorities might be and I find that kind of sad.

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Arodash
38 minutes ago, daveb said:

I guess some of those college sports bring in lots of money, too, but that just shows to me where the priorities might be and I find that kind of sad.

Same

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Skycaptain

The USA is different though. College sports there are big business, and they get a lot of money in from television. If we compare Gridiron to soccer. College is the main feeder to the elite league for players - the NFL. In soccer, players either work their way through lower leagues or are recruited as a schoolkid. So College ball is equivalent of the second tier league in soccer, and it's not surprising sports coaches get paid big money. They may earn $1 million, but are bringing many times that into the faculty. 

 

Anyways, digression over. If the aim is to get schools open by the fall, there's three months to plan out a strategy to make this happen. Also a strategy for a back-up if its not going to work. Maybe each year group comes in one day a week for things like science practicals, but learn maths online? If we assume there will still be some form of social distancing, how do we get the children into school. In the town where I work 2500 children commute to school by rail alone, and a similar number by bus. Between the ages of 5 and 18 we have around 15000 children at school in a town with a population of 42000, because of the sheer numbers travelling in. 

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fuzzipueo

Fall/autumn openings may not be realistic, much less June for year-arounds. Schools are vectors for viruses and, as this article points out, little kids are not good at social distancing.

Scientists warn 1 June is too early for schools to open.

 

There are worries about a second wave of infections right at the same time flu and cold season starts up again later this year in the fall.

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Skycaptain

Second wave infections are why they want to ease things now. These figures are hypothetical, for, Britain, but looking at what's happened so far. Peak hospitalisations reached around 30 000, but are now under 10 000. Whilst there is spare capacity, we have a) a backlog in surgeries and b) overworked staff who need a break. Thus, given that a second wave, third wave and more, are inevitable, it's best to get a couple of secondary spikes through in the summer months. It's estimated that first week in April we had 2.1 million infected, now it's around 175 thousand. Two more spikes and a truly substantial percentage of the population will have been exposed 

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RoseGoesToYale
10 hours ago, Skycaptain said:

If the aim is to get schools open by the fall, there's three months to plan out a strategy to make this happen. Also a strategy for a back-up if its not going to work.

I'd love to see schools and educators confer directly with doctors and health organizations to put together three game plans: Best case scenario, most likely scenario, and worst case scenario, and work together to get the logistics sort it out. Because some governments in some places simply don't have their heads screwed on right, I feel like if it goes gov't+schools or gov't+doctors, all the politics will get in the way and we'll wind up with the solution the politicians want, whether it's in people's best interests or not.

 

3 hours ago, fuzzipueo said:

There are worries about a second wave of infections right at the same time flu and cold season starts up again later this year in the fall.

If enough people actually got flu shots, it would help. Not to prevent coronavirus, but the CDC estimates for influenza hospitalizations for two seasons ago were almost 500,000, and the season before that some 800,000. That's a huge amount of hospital bed space that could be freed up and a way lower strain on PPE availability if people could be bothered to help reach herd immunity.

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Arodash
5 minutes ago, RoseGoesToYale said:

I'd love to see schools and educators confer directly with doctors and health organizations to put together three game plans: Best case scenario, most likely scenario, and worst case scenario, and work together to get the logistics sort it out. Because some governments in some places simply don't have their heads screwed on right, I feel like if it goes gov't+schools or gov't+doctors, all the politics will get in the way and we'll wind up with the solution the politicians want, whether it's in people's best interests or not.

 

If enough people actually got flu shots, it would help. Not to prevent coronavirus, but the CDC estimates for influenza hospitalizations for two seasons ago were almost 500,000, and the season before that some 800,000. That's a huge amount of hospital bed space that could be freed up and a way lower strain on PPE availability if people could be bothered to help reach herd immunity.

I agrees

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weird elf

Flu shots aren't the most reliable shots though, because there's a new strain each year and the vaccines are developed in very little time with next to no testing capacity (moment the virus shows up the shots are needed large-scale, not much time to fine-tune things). Same thing will apply to a covid vaccine whenever we get one, it won't be anywhere near as reliable as, say, the polio or MMR ones - purely because those things take time.

That being said - YES, risk groups should absolutely get them. Even if every fifth shot fails, four will work.

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Arodash
11 minutes ago, weird elf said:

Flu shots aren't the most reliable shots though, because there's a new strain each year and the vaccines are developed in very little time with next to no testing capacity (moment the virus shows up the shots are needed large-scale, not much time to fine-tune things). Same thing will apply to a covid vaccine whenever we get one, it won't be anywhere near as reliable as, say, the polio or MMR ones - purely because those things take time.

That being said - YES, risk groups should absolutely get them. Even if every fifth shot fails, four will work.

Yesss a vaccine is (generally) better than no vaccine as it improves your odds, and can stimulate antibodies anyway

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nanogretchen4

We should wait until the great majority of the population is vaccinated before opening schools. Every type of contagious illness spreads like wildfire in schools. Kids take the illness home to their parents, who spread it to their coworkers. The kids visit their grandparents and/or the parents are taking care of the grandparents, and the grandparents end up dead. Many of the teachers and administrators are in high risk categories. Kids end up with dead teachers and grandparents, maybe even dead parents. Dead is forever. The educational impact of a missed year of school sets the kids back one year at worst. If they are old enough to read, they might learn as much at home as they would have at school. And if they are in kindergarten or first grade, keep in mind that some countries with better school systems than the US don't start formal schooling until age 7. What this is really about is wanting the schools to provide free babysitting because the current administration is unwilling to provide financial support to parents who need to take care of their kids.

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Arodash
10 minutes ago, nanogretchen4 said:

We should wait until the great majority of the population is vaccinated before opening schools. Every type of contagious illness spreads like wildfire in schools. Kids take the illness home to their parents, who spread it to their coworkers. The kids visit their grandparents and/or the parents are taking care of the grandparents, and the grandparents end up dead. Many of the teachers and administrators are in high risk categories. Kids end up with dead teachers and grandparents, maybe even dead parents. Dead is forever. The educational impact of a missed year of school sets the kids back one year at worst. If they are old enough to read, they might learn as much at home as they would have at school. And if they are in kindergarten or first grade, keep in mind that some countries with better school systems than the US don't start formal schooling until age 7. What this is really about is wanting the schools to provide free babysitting because the current administration is unwilling to provide financial support to parents who need to take care of their kids.

A usable vaccine wont be here for a while

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nanogretchen4

Right. I'm assuming it will take another year, minimum. So, no in person school for another year, then. 

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Arodash
44 minutes ago, nanogretchen4 said:

Right. I'm assuming it will take another year, minimum. So, no in person school for another year, then. 

It could also take longer than a year and even then we dont know how effective it will be, let alone the level of mass production that would be needed

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nanogretchen4

So, it sounds like you are saying that in person school might never be reasonably safe again. In that case, we will have to restructure our education system to adapt to the new normal. But the vaccine is being fast tracked and I'm fairly optimistic that it can be rolled out about a year from now. In that case we would be able to reopen in person schools in fall 2021, yay! 

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Arodash
3 minutes ago, nanogretchen4 said:

So, it sounds like you are saying that in person school might never be reasonably safe again. In that case, we will have to restructure our education system to adapt to the new normal. But the vaccine is being fast tracked and I'm fairly optimistic that it can be rolled out about a year from now. In that case we would be able to reopen in person schools in fall 2021, yay! 

In person schooling has always been an issue for viruses. Parents will need to get back to work before the fall, who will tend to their children?

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Alawyn-Aebt

I don't think holding out for a vaccine would help or be practical in the short run. Neither would continued lockdown until COVID-19 cases cease. The historical nature of pandemics, if this is truly a pandemic worthy of the name, is that nearly everyone gets sick until herd immunity is reached. Throughout history all of the great diseases hit nearly everyone that the disease could reach until herd immunity existed. Lockdown to me just seems to be trying to slow the spread. But lockdowns have huge costs on people in other ways. Online learning is a massive pain for a huge number of people, if it continues students will not learn as much as they could in class. Schools must learn to account for this. But sadly, in today's test-centric system of education, I am not sure they will/can. Colleges face the same issue but also have funding pinches. Not to mention how socioeconomic standing impacts how well students are able to cope with online learning.

 

Yet at the same time it is not feasible to not have school. People need to learn, a gap for many would mean they would lose progress and would have to restart at potentially a much lower level. It is easier for college students, but college students face their own financial struggles (especially with very few college students qualifying for the $1200) and many who depart college never return. On top of that people have plans. COVID-19 already disrupted my plan to study abroad and to minor in archaeology. Even the most basic plan of classes is tied to the semester. I really do not want to do another online class ever but then I have to wait until next fall to get the classes I need. Many language classes and selective programs offer classes in series, with one in fall followed by one in spring, and you cannot take them out of order. Cancelling it, or even moving it online, would be a disaster for those sorts of classes, especially language ones. That would mean not only an extra semester, but an extra year. All the pressure to build a resume also cannot simply cease. Putting how one was chosen for study abroad but was cancelled for COVID doesn't fill the gap that actually listing the experience would be. In a world where both experience and college degree is needed for any job beyond the most basic service work (and even sometimes for that too) the inability to get experience is a major problem for college students. Internships, which I despise but seem to be the only option for getting experience in a chosen field, have been cancelled as well.

 

In sum: I completely agree, schools and colleges have to reopen.

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nanogretchen4

All these problems have solutions and/or are not as serious as a massive wave of preventable deaths. If college students defer classes for a year, then they defer. If public school students actually fall an entire year behind and can't catch up, which is unrealistically pessimistic for the majority of students, they will graduate a year later. The school systems could simply acknowledge that standardized testing can't just go ahead as if there were no pandemic. The government could provide an adequate social services safety net so that parents could take care of their children. We should not be willing to sacrifice hundreds of thousands of human lives to accommodate bad choices by our government and our school systems. We should demand that our representatives make better choices.

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RoseGoesToYale
17 minutes ago, nanogretchen4 said:

So, it sounds like you are saying that in person school might never be reasonably safe again. In that case, we will have to restructure our education system to adapt to the new normal. But the vaccine is being fast tracked and I'm fairly optimistic that it can be rolled out about a year from now. In that case we would be able to reopen in person schools in fall 2021, yay! 

I just don't think this is feasible. The thing is, we are still highly social primates. Much of our social learning takes place in the presence of others. We communicate best when we have the benefit of context clues like eye contact, intonation, facial expression, body gestures, and physical actions. Positive in-person interaction is also something we need to remain mentally healthy (I guess, unless you're a hermit, they seem to be doing ok). I've already seen videos of kids stuck at home just absolutely losing their minds, screaming and crying and throwing themselves around the room over trying to do school on a computer, not being able to see their friends, trying to deal with parents who are also frazzled. The longer it goes on, the more we'll see instances of behavior problems and childhood depression.

 

It's going to come down to striking the best reasonable balance between preventing spread while also permitting humans to behave as normally as possible for their psychological and social health. We can't run around willy-nilly, but we can't keep everyone locked in their houses on Zoom for over a year, either.

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Arodash
14 minutes ago, RoseGoesToYale said:

I just don't think this is feasible. The thing is, we are still highly social primates. Much of our social learning takes place in the presence of others. We communicate best when we have the benefit of context clues like eye contact, intonation, facial expression, body gestures, and physical actions. Positive in-person interaction is also something we need to remain mentally healthy (I guess, unless you're a hermit, they seem to be doing ok). I've already seen videos of kids stuck at home just absolutely losing their minds, screaming and crying and throwing themselves around the room over trying to do school on a computer, not being able to see their friends, trying to deal with parents who are also frazzled. The longer it goes on, the more we'll see instances of behavior problems and childhood depression.

 

It's going to come down to striking the best reasonable balance between preventing spread while also permitting humans to behave as normally as possible for their psychological and social health. We can't run around willy-nilly, but we can't keep everyone locked in their houses on Zoom for over a year, either.

Its actually very poor for your health also to sit inside breathing the same air and touching the same surfaces

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Gloomy

I wonder how children with bad home lives are dealing with this. There were times when my home life wasn’t exactly the best, and school was an escape for me.

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Gucci_Grape
4 minutes ago, Gloomy said:

I wonder how children with bad home lives are dealing with this. There were times when my home life wasn’t exactly the best, and school was an escape for me.

My mom is the principal of an elementary school and this is a huge issue. A lot of children and their families are dealing with severe food scarcity in this situation and a lot of people are stuck with abusive family members with no where to go. It's kind of a nightmare. She found out a family of six was eating plain noodles and water for dinner every night. 

Luckily, she is pushing a lot of donations from teachers and buying food out of her own pocket to help with some of this instability. It's just heartbreaking.

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RoseGoesToYale

I had no idea what kind of a lifeline schools were for some children until quarantines began. According to this op-ed, the main source of reports to child protective services in the US come from educators. Some experts are worried about parents, perhaps otherwise normal during non-pandemic times, snapping under the stress of juggling working from home, childcare and tutoring, chores, and attempting basic self-care.

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